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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

English Studies is no longer accepting new applications.


  • To give students with relevant experience at first-degree level the opportunity to develop a conceptually and historically sophisticated approach to literary study, both in taught seminar groups and individual research; also to carry out focused research under close supervision in their field of interest.
  • To enable students to acquire or develop skills in order to practise research in the field in a professional manner; to give students the opportunity to develop a critical and methodological framework, and to acquire relevant bibliographical and electronic skills.
  • To prepare students (where relevant) for doctoral research in a range of different research areas with a literary dimension.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

By the end of the course students should have  developed:

  1. a deeper knowledge of literature and its contexts (critical, cultural, historical), in general, and of their chosen area of research in particular;
  2. a critical understanding of the material, cultural, theoretical and social contexts which inform their chosen area of research and of the scholarly debates within it.


Skills and Other Attributes

By the end of the course students should have:

  1. demonstrated independent judgment based on their own research;
  2. acquired or consolidated the skills of professional discovery, and of recording and presenting scholarly research, including critical, IT, bibliographical and other skills;
  3. learned how to timetable independent research so as to produce written work of a high standard to a clearly defined timetable;
  4. learned how to participate articulately and effectively in seminar discussions.



MPhil students may apply to continue to a PhD in English. The minimum academic condition for continuation is an overall mark of 70+ for the MPhil course. Other conditions may be imposed.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.


Key Information

9 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of English

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Jan. 3, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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